Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Guardian (UK)
These pieces inspired by the human heartbeat represent his most open invitation in years. He's joined by fine trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, bass guitarist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman; and in guitarist Miles Okazaki he has a multi-talented newcomer who looks to be as much of an innovative thinker. The music is several degrees warmer: full of sparky ensemble writing, varied percussion sounds and vivacious grooves.
These 14 pieces are relatively short, in jazz terms. The horns speck their melodies in fractured tandem on Medulla-Vagus, sparring closely across the tune's thickly extruded bassline. This is the most exciting and substantial Coleman release of the last few years, rigorously challenging, pumped with insinuating melodies, sleek with propulsive energies and pulsating with a uniquely globular funkiness.
For his new disc, Coleman uses the rhythms found inside every human being as his compositional blueprint. A sense of internal flow among musical themes runs throughout the disc. In the liner notes, he mentions that this album was inspired by conversations he had with percussionist Milford Graves, who has researched the connections between music and human biology. Coleman's inventive solos are joyful reminders that he spent his formative years studying with the great saxophonist Von Freeman.
Personnel: Steve Coleman (alto saxophone); Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet); Sean Rickman (drums).
Audio Mixer: Liberty Ellman.
Liner Note Author: Steve Coleman .
Recording information: Dolan Music Recording Studio, New York, NY (05/08/2012/05/09/2012); Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY (05/08/2012/05/09/2012); Dolan Music Recording Studio, New York, NY (10/29/2012/10/30/2012); Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY (10/29/2012/10/30/2012).